has wanted to be a writer since she was enrolled in Mrs. Carother’s 10th-grade English class. She paid attention to this passion and followed it to the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, where she received a BA in English and a BS in Communications. Amanda has spent the last fifteen years writing, editing, designing and producing content across the private, non-profit and government sectors. In all this time, she never let go of her dream to write her story.
The idea for I Am Her came after receiving a call for #MeToo essays to be submitted as part of the Jewish Women International’s “I Am Vashti” campaign, an initiative explored this iconic figure against the backdrop of the modern woman's sexual injustice. As Amanda began writing her submission, the concept of turning her experiences with sexual abuse and assault into a one act play was formed. Then she met Mimi. And the game changed.
With Mimi’s guidance, Amanda found her way to coffee with published playwrights (Margaret Engel, Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End), phone calls with actresses (Pam Sherman, Sheer Madness), and lunches with renowned DC directors (Kevin Kuchar, Amber McPaige). Through their generous tutelage and guidance, Amanda refined the draft to the point of public display.
In October 2018, Mimi and Amanda hosted over 35 women at the first reading of I Am Her. The reaction was palpable. It was clear that the play’s themes of self-loathing, guilt, shame, fight, grit, and self-acceptance resonate with an audience. And so, the journey continues with this talented team to bring this script to life.
In addition to writing I Am Her, Amanda is also a published children’s book author and works as a Marketing Communications Manager for a mid-sized Health IT firm. She lives with her husband, Jeff, and their two children, Alyce and Jacob, in North Potomac, MD.
Mimi Brodsky Kress
is a force onto herself, filled with positive, energetic, caring energy. This community leader has an extensive history of making an impact on an array of non-profit organizations in the Washington area, while at the same time forging a highly successful career in the building industry. A third-generation Washingtonian, she is the co-owner and COO of Sandy Spring Builders, based in Bethesda, MD.
After meeting Amanda at the MCCH Annual Gala, the two struck up a conversation on her idea for a play based around the #METOO movement. Since the two met for coffee back in March 2018, they have been on a mission to turn this passion project into a successful production. With Mimi’s community connections, passion for philanthropy, and smart business sense, she makes for the perfect producer. Thank you Mimi for all that you have done and continue you to do for I Am Her.
Toni Rae Salmi
has been performing and directing in the DC area for many years. Directing credits include:
Pinky Swear Productions: Bondage
Pinky Swear Productions: Use All Available Doors (World Premiere 2018)
Select regional credits include:
Imagination Stage: The Princess and the Pauper: A Bollywood Tale, Mulan, and Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business (Helen Hayes Award Nomination)
Theatre Prometheus: Anon[ymous]
Source Theatre Festival: Perfect Arrangement
Taffety Punk Theatre Company: Romeo & Juliet, Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar, The Tempest
Hub Theatre: Act A Lady, American Spies and Other Homegrown Fables (World Premiere 2019)
MetroStage: One Good Marriage
Washington Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Theater Alliance: The Spitfire Grill
Toni Rae is also a cabaret artist and produced her solo cabaret Help Me, Wanda! for the 2017 Capital Fringe Festival. She has an MA in Theatre from Miami University and most recently earned another MA in Arts Management from American University. During her time at AU, she served as the Graduate Development Fellow at The Kennedy Center.
Laura Esti Miller
is the Literary Manager for 1st Stage as well as a dramaturg, writer, and educator to students from preschool through college. Work in the DC area includes the better part of fourteen seasons with Forum Theatre and five seasons with The Inkwell, a company created for new play development in the nation's capital.
Laura is the former Creative Development Director of the off-Broadway company Electric Pear Productions, and has worked with The Public Theater, The Kennedy Center, and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, among others. She has a BA from James Madison University and an MFA from Brooklyn College. Learn more about Laura's approach to theater here.